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Feeling lost in energy jargon?

Energy jargon can be as baffling as a different language, especially when buying electric products or hiring tradespeople. To ease the confusion, we’ve compiled a few terms to simplify the language of electricity, from voltage, power, and other energy concepts.

Voltage (measured in volts, V)

Alright, imagine electricity as water flowing through pipes, and voltage is like the pressure of that flow. The higher the voltage, the speedier the current – a bit like turning up the tap. Now, we use super high voltages, up to 400,000 volts, for sending electricity across the country efficiently. But when it gets to our homes, it’s a safer 230 volts, thanks to transformers that do a bit of magic. 

Power and energy

Now, when we talk about power, think of it in watts (W) – it’s like the muscle of electricity. Pay attention to kilowatts (kW) too; 1,000W equals 1kW. Your electricity bill? It’s like a sum of the power your gadgets use over time. We measure that in kilowatt-hours (kWh), and when it gets big, we talk about megawatt-hours (MWh) and gigawatt-hours (GWh). 

For the nerdy bits, when we say “peak power,” we’re talking about the maximum flow of electricity in a network. It’s crucial for setting things up so the system can handle the big bursts of power, like when everyone turns on their kettles during the halftime break. 

Tonne of CO2 Equivalent (tCO2 e)

Now, let’s chat about the green stuff. It’s not just CO2 causing climate issues; there are other gases too. So, we convert all those emissions into a language we can all understand – tonnes of CO2 equivalent. It helps us see the bigger picture, knowing the environmental impact of all those gases together. 

Hope that helps, and remember, it’s all about making sense of the electrical world without getting too tangled up! 

Grid edge 

While we’re at it, a term you may come across more often in the future is ‘Grad Edge’. This refers to the outer boundaries of traditional power grids. It’s where consumers (you) and distributed energy resources meet the centralised grid. Think of it as the frontier where homes, businesses, and renewable energy sources intersect with the larger energy infrastructure. 

The significance, and why you will hear more about it in the years to come, lies in the shift towards decentralisation and increased consumer participation. With technologies like rooftop solar, energy storage, and smart appliances becoming more prevalent, the grid-edge becomes a dynamic space. It empowers users to actively manage their energy consumption, contribute to the grid, and embrace a more sustainable energy future. 

In essence, the grid-edge represents a departure from the conventional one-way flow of electricity, paving the way for a more interactive, resilient, and efficient energy ecosystem. 

If you are considering future-proofing your home with a retrofit, which could include solar PV panels, heat pumps, and insulation, why not try our free Plan Builder tool? It can help give you an idea of which measures might suit your property and provide an estimate of the costs involved.

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